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Planners task Lagos on transit-oriented development

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Despite recent achievements in Lagos State’s physical development and urban regeneration efforts, town planners, have called for more ambitious plan to reduce slums in the city.

The planners drawn from the academia, the private sector and the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), stressed the need for government to focus more on transit-oriented development where residents will do less of travelling.

The experts asked government to engage the academia in resolving physical development issues, increase the use of technologies especially, Geographic Information System (GIS), and remote sensing, to monitor city’s dynamics and save lots of resources.

Leading the call at a forum on “Reflection on urban development, review of 2019 and projection for 2020”, organised by NITP, Lagos State Chapter, an Associate Professor at University of Lagos, Tiabat Lawanson noted some successes in physical planning in the state in 2019. She however identified the wide gap between town planners in the knowledge institution as a missing link on the recorded successes.

According to her, authorities has only ensured a lot of engagement between town planners in government and those in business/private sector whereas those in the knowledge institution have a lot to contribute and make things better in the state.

She lamented that the ministry also focused more on physical planning to the detriment of urban development stressing that such policy direction has posed a big challenge to the city development.

“Last year, we sat and raised quite a number of issues; many of them have been addressed but there are still some missing link. The ministry is for physical planning and urban development but most of what has been done, is on physical planning and there is very little about urban development. If we are proactive about how cities turned then we don’t have to go through the trouble of reshaping, which is what the ministry is doing a lot on. That has to come to the front burner that the ministry has to take ownership of her mandate for urban development and is not only about relocating places but setting the direction and the policy for how city should go.

On plan to reduce slums by half, she said there was the need for authorities to first profile the number of such places in the state especially where they are located. Lawanson condemned the resurgence of spatial displacement in Lagos state saying, “We haven’t done anything since 1992 and so we are still working with the 42 slums that were identified from 1984 to 1992.

In her contributions, a research fellow at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, Dr. Olabisi Badmos stressed the need for application of GIS and remote sensors to monitor slums dynamics in the state. This, she said was very important due to issues of limited resources.

“We need to talk about how we can use technology, to identify all the slums and new hotspots for slums development. The ministry needs to work on how to use the GIS/ software for the betterment of the city”

The Team leader, Future Cities Nigeria, Mr. Simon Gusah said the battle of turning Lagos around planned to start on the Land Island was a good decision based on historical and traditional reason as well as the cultural.

Speaking at the forum, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Bisi Adedire lauded the State Government on the issued statement requesting for expression of interest from consultants in respect to the preparation of development guide plan for some excised villages.

Earlier, the State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako who was represented by the General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority, (LASPPA), Mr. Funmi Osifuye explained that the government has liberalized planning permit to ease delays due to Lagos Inland Revenue Service queries.

He assured that all issues raised would be examined in line with the vision of moving the state forward.


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